The New York Times reports:
A federal investigative office has found “reasonable grounds to believe” that the Trump administration was retaliating against a whistle-blower, Dr. Rick Bright, when he was ousted from a government research agency combating the coronavirus, and said he should be reinstated for 45 days while it investigates, his lawyers said Friday.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports that the lawyers, Debra S. Katz and Lisa J. Banks, said in a statement that they were notified late Thursday afternoon that the Office of Special Counsel, which protects whistle-blowers, had “made a threshold determination” that HHS “violated the Whistleblower Protection Act by removing Dr. Bright from his position because he made protected disclosures in the best interest of the American public.”
The finding comes just days after the lawyers filed a whistle-blower complaint saying that Dr. Bright’s removal last month as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority was intended as payback.